PSYCH> Vol.2 No.5, August 2011

Are the Typologies Determined by the Post-Critical Belief Scale Predicted Well by the Religious Attitudes and Behaviour of Maltese Undergraduate Students?

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ABSTRACT

Religious beliefs play an important role in the study of religious practices and behaviour. Wulff (1997) suggested that there are four basic attitudes towards religion: Literal Affirmation, Literal Disaffirmation, Reductive Interpretation and Restorative Interpretation. Building on this work, Duriez, Soenans and Hutsebaut (2005) constructed the Post-Critical Belief Scale (PCBS). In their work, Duriez at al. conducted a Principal Component Analysis of the responses to this questionnaire. It yielded two factors which partitioned 2-dimensional space into four quadrants corresponding to the four types of beliefs postulated by Wulff (1997). The research question which is addressed in this paper is whether there is an association between scores on the PCBS and religious practices and behaviour in a staunchly Catholic country like Malta where over 98% are baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. This question was addressed by administering a questionnaire to a random sample of 650 students at the University of Malta, of which 421 completed the questionnaire. Of those who answered the questionnaire, 349 were undergraduates. The questionnaire consisted of a number of questions about religious attitudes and behaviour, and also included the PCBS. The analysis of the association between membership of one of the four belief typologies and the participants’ responses to other questions related to religious beliefs, religious practice and sexual norms was carried out using Discriminant Analysis. The results indicate that, at least in this sample of Maltese university students, these three measures do a reasonably good job in identifying membership in three of Wulff’s four belief typologies.

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Lauri, M. , Lauri, J. & Borg, J. (2011). Are the Typologies Determined by the Post-Critical Belief Scale Predicted Well by the Religious Attitudes and Behaviour of Maltese Undergraduate Students?. Psychology, 2, 405-410. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.25063.

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